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COVID-19 roundup: CSRA hospitalizations plummet as U.S. marks vaccine milestones

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 11:28 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the U.S. is hitting more big milestones in getting people vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the CDC, vaccinations have jumped to about 3 million people per day.

That means about one in three adults has now gotten at least one dose. And for adults who are 65 older more than two-thirds have gotten at least one shot.

One problem, however, is people just getting the first dose but skipping out on the second. Although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reportedly offer some protection with just one dose, two doses are recommended.

Augusta University Health is seeing around the same percentage as the state of Tennessee: About 5 percent of patients aren’t returning for their second dose for whatever reason.

Hospitalization levels are plummeting in CSRA

As vaccinations increase, the number of COVID-19 inpatients at hospitals in the CSRA continues to decline.

Augusta University Medical Center is down to single digits with six coronavirus inpatients.

University Hospital has 14 and Doctors Hospital has 10.

And the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center has 19.

It’s a positive sign, but just this week, the CDC announced Georgia was 46th in the U.S. in terms of percentage of vaccine supply administered.

So far, a little over 70 percent of the state’s vaccine doses have been given out

Meanwhile South Carolina is ranked 29th with 80 percent administered.

Where to get a shot this week

Vaccinations are ramping up across the two-state region, and there are more chances for you to get your shot this week.

  • Appointments are available this week at AU Health’s vaccination hub. You can also sign up for appointments at the Washington Square location, 2834 Washington Road. Sign up at https://www.augustahealth.org/vaccine.
  • In Washington County, a state-run drive-thru clinic is located at the Word of Life Church in Sandersville. You can register at MyVaccineGeorgia.com.
  • Sand Hills Community Center starting on Tuesday will be distributing the vaccination from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Optim Medical Center-Screven will be holding a free, drive-thru first-dose Moderna vaccine clinic on March 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the hospital campus, 215 Mims Road in Sylvania. Enter at the main hospital entrance off Rocky Ford Road. The date and time for the second dose will be provided after first dose has been administered. It’s open to Georgia residents who meet the current COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements, listed below. Appointments are required by calling 912-629-3555.
  • Aiken Regional Medical Center has partnered with the University of South Carolina Aiken and will hold vaccination clinics at the student activity center, 471 University Parkway: 1,250 Moderna first dose vaccinations available March 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the second dose scheduled for April 21, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and 1,000 Moderna first dose vaccinations available March 31 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the second dose scheduled for April 28, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit aikenregional.com.
  • Family Health Centers will hold walk-in vaccine clinics in Orangeburg County for anyone in Phase 1A and 1B. They’ll be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or while supplies at: Tuesday at Orangeburg City Gym, 410 Broughton St., Orangeburg; Wednesday at Santee Conference Center, 1737 Bass Dr., Santee, and Holly Hill Depot, 8603 Old State Rd., Holly Hill; Thursday at Orangeburg County Fairgrounds, 350 Magnolia St., Orangeburg; and Friday at St. Mark United Methodist Church, 8502 North Road, North, S.C., and Lovely Hill Convention Center, 5905 West Jim Bilton Blvd., Saint George. For more information, call 803-531-6900
  • University Hospital is holding a registration-only Moderna vaccination clinic for Phase 1B of the population on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Old Macedonia Baptist Church, 200 Macedonia Road, North Augusta. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/university-hospital-covid-vaccine-clinic-phase-1b-tickets-147426351185.

Also in the news ...

  • Across the Atlantic, the British government has drafted legislation that will stop all travel outside of the U.K. Anyone who does will face a $7,000 penalty. It’s part of new restrictions that will go into effect on Monday as England works to control the latest outbreak, which is fueled by a quickly spreading COVID variant. The travel ban does not include traveling for work or school.
  • If your pants have gotten a little tighter since the COVID pandemic began, you’re not alone. A new study found Americans gained an average of 1.5 pounds every month last year between February and June. Researchers are blaming the extra weight on the shelter-in-place orders that went into effect at the start of the pandemic.
  • At 4:15 p.m. today, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will join state Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey and Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Chris Stallings for an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Georgia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report